Stadiums pumping millions into QLD economy

A new report by Foresight Partners shows the state's major sport and entertainment venues pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the Queensland economy and generate thousands of jobs for Queenslanders each year.

A recent economic analysis of regular premiership home games played at Stadiums Queensland venues shows the total economic impact to the Queensland economy each year across the football codes is estimated to be more than $308 million.

This comes not just from expenditure at the event itself but the additional spending that occurs through the hospitality, tourism, retail, transport and entertainment industries.

Of the $308 million, $140 million is from direct benefits through spending at pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, transport and other services. The remaining $168 million is through indirect benefits such as the retail support industry, wholesale traders and utility providers.

This economic impact doesn't include other one-off events such as concerts, football finals, state of origin or rugby and football internationals.

For example the Ashes Test match at the Gabba in 2006 contributed direct benefits of around $72 million into the State's economy. With another Ashes series scheduled for 2010 a similar economic boost can be expected.

The study also found that 2,050 jobs are created as a result of regular premiership home games being played at SQ venues across all football codes. This is across a diverse range of jobs from catering, security, grounds people, transport services and usher staff.

Sport Minister Phil Reeves said in 2008/09 the Queensland government contributed $70 million to the upkeep and development of sports infrastructure operated by Stadiums Queensland.

"That funding also paid annual payments on loans raised to construct Suncorp Stadium, Skilled Park, the Queensland Tennis Centre and The Gabba, and of course to maintain the venues," Mr Reeves said.
"World class stadiums aren't cheap to run, but the costs are far outweighed by the community and economic benefits they generate.

"If these venues didn't exist Queenslanders wouldn't get the opportunity to experience the excitement of elite sport and internationally renowned performers.

"We would also forgo thousands of jobs and the millions of dollars in economic benefits they bring to Queensland businesses.

The combined value of Stadiums Queensland facilities is approximately $1.3 billion. An increase of more than $1.05 billion since 2002.

"The Queensland Government sees a huge benefit in investing in these facilities and will continue to do so despite the costs associated with their operation," Mr Reeves said.

"We don't build stadiums for profit, they're built for the community and for the economic benefit they generate," he said.

"If the Government pulled out of these venues there would be very few private entities willing to take them on and this would have a significant impact on the Queensland's sports franchises.

"Stadiums are an economic enabler, as a result of these venues Queensland has some very successful sporting franchises and venues which are well regarded throughout Australia and internationally.

"More than 23 million people have attended an SQ venue since 2002, more than 3.7 million of these in the last financial year despite the global credit crunch. Hundreds of millions more have either watched or listened to major events at these facilities locally, nationally and internationally in this time.

"All these social and economic benefits flow to the Queensland community because the government is prepared to invest in and support the development and maintenance of sports and entertainment facilities," Mr Reeves said.

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